Technologists teamed up with artists to take intriguing inventions and use them for artistic goals. Art-A-Hack was a project of the Volumetric Society and ThoughtWorks, with additional support from Microsoft, O’Reilly Media and Livestream.
“The thing about Art-A-Hack, which I’m really trying to bring to the technology world, is the sense of art privileging over the hack rather than the hack privileging over the art,” said Pearlman.
Pealman’s co-organizer, Andy McWilliams, gently disagrees.
“I feel as though it’s more about mutual collaboration of people with different skill sets,” McWilliams, also of ThoughtWorks, said. “One thing we learned a lot about is collaboration. It’s more about the people and how they work with each other.”
They both spoke up, however, about the friction that existed in some of these art/tech combination teams.
The Volumetric Society put out an open call for artists and technologists to participate in the project. Then McWilliams and Pearlman took the applicants and paired them into teams, on what Pearlman described as roughly a blind date. The teams worked to come up with something artistic using the various gadgets and technologies made available to them.
We saw a team use Google Glass in such a way that the person using Glass seemed to be psychic. With help from someone doing searches and feeding information to the “psychic” via Glass, they were able to find some pretty heavy information about a volunteer from the crowd. From media coverage to her marriage certificate, and more.
We also saw a Kinect wired into an Oculus Rift to yield what the team called “distorted reality.”
From Livestream’s release about the event:
Art-A-Hack provided creatives with space to work, equipment with which to experiment, facilitation, and showcase opportunities. Divided into nine teams, 22 creatives kicked off with a topic to explore and split in their own unique directions. Their creations ranged from Wearables and 3D Printing, Neuro Projection and EEG, Smart Technology and Environments, Time and Code, to Privacy and Google Glass.